Minitrack at AMCIS 2012: Social Aspects of Public Sector Information Systems
Research suggests that one of the most challenging areas of information systems is that of supporting decisions for policy planning and implementation in the public sector. The modern public sector in particular is in a continual state of flux, attempting to balance the needs of the citizens (or customers) with the needs of an increasingly ‘big business’ orientation. In all these walks of life, information systems (IS) are considered essential, core to the effective provision of service and ongoing function of the organisation.
In an increasingly e-business influenced market environment, public institutions such as healthcare, social services, education and employment struggle with the need to balance issues such as transparency and opaqueness, or social inclusion and professionalism.
At the same time the media are eager to show that there are plenty of problems in these sectors, especially with large scale implementations of IS. A prime example of such a scenario is the case of electronic government where IS plays a major role in transforming and e-enabling traditionally bureaucratic public services.
From an organisational perspective, the conceptual shift and change of culture that this type of IS resultant change may introduce to these types of enterprises are certainly more of a human and social dimension rather than technical.
While there are clear technical challenges, the minitrack aims to focus on the non-technical, or social aspects of public sector information systems, which are arguably more difficult to identify and hence more difficult to deal with. Through the exploration and discussion of these issues, this minitrack aims to build a picture of these challenges and begin to focus on developing appropriate solution spaces for future developments.